Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden
They are so omnipresent here that I have become kind of blind to them. I see them, but I don't see them, like Kudzu and Rebel Flags.
We were on the Interstate heading to Turner Field for a Braves Game last night, and I noticed a Jesus Fish on the car in front of us. It reminded me that husband had promised to get me a Darwin Fish for my van, and had not followed through. We talked about it briefly and then, as happens when you have kids, a tangent ensued and the matter was forgotten.
Later that night, driving home, talking about this and that but not really talking about anything of substance, Diminutive One asked,
"Mom...how did people get on the earth?"
His ability to extrapolate profound and abstruse concepts from idle chit chat is astounding. Also, he has impeccable timing, because he always seems to ask these questions when I am least prepared. Forget AP or PP or any of that horseshit. I practice SOS parenting. Sink or Swim.
Husband glanced at me, smirking. He knows this is a hot button issue for me. I am rabid about not introducing or perpetuating ficitious and outmoded ideals. Namely, Creationism, or God forbid (pun intended), Intelligent Design. But, I do want my kids to think for themselves and so I also resist the urge to promote my own ideals as unimpeachable.
Donning my diplomat hat, I explained that some people believe the whole Adam and Eve thing and some believe that human beings evolved from lower life forms. This led to an abbreviated explanation of the big bang theory, which led to an equally abbreviated discussion about mitochondrial DNA and the out of Africa Theory and Dinosaurs and Cavemen which somehow led to speculation about life on other planets, at which point my brain exploded.
"No more questions!" I snapped. Clearly, I do not belong in a classroom. In my defense, it was midnight and I had just spent four hours in sub-tropical heat with 40,000 likkered up rednecks.
Anyway...it was productive. The boys, of their own accord, decided that there was probably more evidence to support evolution than anything else. They never asked what I believe, or what Husband believes, though I was ready for it. At one point however, Diminutive One asked, "What if you kind of believe both things?"
Well, honey, then you run for a seat on the Board of Education!
But seriously...I get what he means. How does a person of faith reconcile their beliefs with scientific data? It's a toughie. My kids are not being raised in a Christian household, but one branch of our family tree is extremely religious. If at some point they decide to embrace Christianity, I will be happy for them, and do my best to support their convictions. So it's a fair question.
He continued, "If you don't believe in Adam and Eve, that kinda means you don't believe in God, right?"
"BINGO!" I wanted to shout. I didn't. Instead I said, "Then I guess you have to decide which you want to believe more." Lame. Lame. Lame. Again, midnight. Rednecks.
All he said was, "Oh."
He was silent the rest of the way home, but I swear, I could hear his synapses firing as he worked through all that we had told him.
Pre-Pubescent One was contemplative as well. After the funeral last week he had asked me, "Mom, do you ever think about where you go if there isn't really any heaven?"
All I could think to say was, "Yes, babe, I think about it all the time."
I want them to know it's okay to question, but I wish I could offer them the security of answers. Maybe allowing them to question is it's own kind of security. That's what I'm telling myself anyway.
Sometimes having kids who think too much really blows.